79 yr old trumpet player (6months) difficulty playing high notes in staff.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by TeddyZ, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. TeddyZ

    TeddyZ New Friend

    Oct 30, 2015
    I used to play 40 years ago and have renewed interest. Very difficult playing any note above d note in staff. I practice every day, took French horn lessons for six months love both instruments. Is my age against me for those notes above the staf. Any body out there in my shoes? Help
  2. Dennis78

    Dennis78 Fortissimo User

    Feb 1, 2015
    Plenty of people here in your shoes, not me though. All you need is practice and it will come back. Glad to hear your back on the trumpet. Good luck!
  3. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Teddy Z, I too was born in 1936 as makes me now 79 years old, almost 79 1/2. My first hiatus was while I served in USAF during which I lost my trumpets that I had left at home with my now ex-wife. I then rented one to pursue such again in college for 3 years and attained a minor in instrumental music. After college it was 40 plus years until I was sitting in a wheelchair that a friend gave me a Conn Director Cornet as began my effort of a comeback. Despite back & hip reconstruction , aortic and left femoral aneurisms & open heart surgery and near complete dentures, I now don't sit in a wheelchair, albeit don't walk far or again run 5 & 10Ks as I once did, but have back my driver's license, and can play quite a bit above the treble staff with my Schilke P5-4 piccolo trumpet and a few notes below the bass clef with my euphonium even though still diagnosed with COPD and Type II diabetes. Since moving to NC in 2006, I've tutored some beginners, and now participate in a group known as Cleffers on Wednesday evenings, the latter doubling on trumpet and euphonium. Too, I frequently solo in local protestant churches and have made many CD recordings for the Jackson Baptist Church while they raise funds to have their organ repaired / replaced. I also sight transpose direct from a hymnal or my late Mother's piano music. Yep, when you must lay aside so many things you once enjoyed, you do what you can with what you have or can acquire.
  4. ckkphoto

    ckkphoto Pianissimo User

    Jan 31, 2013
    Northwest Georgia
    You guys are inspirational! !! So glad this was posted!
  5. trumpetsplus

    trumpetsplus Fortissimo User

    Jun 11, 2006
    South Salem, NY
    To me, the D is a major clue.

    I would suggest you address your blowing....

    Take a drinking straw, hold it between your lips with your lips, not your teeth.
    Blow out gently. Remember the feeling.
    Take your trumpet and play with the same exhaling feeling.
  6. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    I'm only 61 but took about 15 or 20 years off. Had some dental work too that gives me a complete different chop set. My comeback took quite a bit of time for gaining range. Right after I started, I too had trouble above a D. Guess I was expecting to add 2-3 notes a week, at least. Didn't work that way. Just kept practicing over a year or so and it eventually came back. Because you once could do something you likely expect it to come more quickly and more easily than you should. Keep going. You will make it. Best wishes in your comeback.
  7. dcinboston

    dcinboston New Friend

    Nov 9, 2015
    All of the posts in this thread are inspirational...especially for me as I pick up th le horn after 25 years off to it.
  8. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Hi TeddyZ,
    Welcome to TM.
    I am a young'un on the Comeback - only started back at 50... so now 58. The older you get the better you were... and I was pretty good when I was young :D I was very lucky, in that when I picked it up to play again, I still had the High C range, but had to work hard to recover where I had been 20+ years earlier - and am still working at it.

    Stumac is the inspirational one I know, he plays French horn and trumpet too - and I hear his warm ups at Big Band, and he is pumping out High G's (Yes the one above High C), and enjoys his music.

    My only advice is to try join a local band, it gives you the motivation to improve, and you make music with like minded folks. I think you need to look into it, and have fun. Trumpet is always 1 note at a time, or 1 partial at a time. So if you have the D then you already have the E above it. The 1st valve is pulling down off the E to get the D.

    Good luck
  9. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    While there may be a few who haven't, IMO most here seem to be comebackers who have had various terms of a hiatus for many different reasons.

    Today has been quite busy musically for me. I had two solos with organ accompaniment in a church funeral service followed by sounding Taps at the family cemetery in a chilling light rain. My problem was from the vehicle to graveside was a little further than I am now comfortable to walk, and the ground was soggy and uneven. Yeah, I've had a pneumonia shot!

    This evening by request I've been producing CDs of 26 traditional Christmas carols that I originally produced before my open heart surgery and dental work. These will be offered for sale at the Christian Bookstore in Roanoke Rapids NC, in addition to some I'm sending to family in CA, TN and WI.
  10. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    Teddy, I'm younger than you (..a little ;-)) and my range now is better than it ever was. Except for a ca. 6 month thing in 1978, I haven't really played since 1970. (Resumed a couple of years ago, but that's been interrupted three times by health issues.) To compare my past experience to the present, after the first three months of learning the trumpet, I played only first trumpet in my school ensembles through junior and senior high school; all state band every year, gold medal winner from solo and ensemble competitions. I also played 3 years in college and 2 in a military band. So, while I wasn't setting the world on fire, I was (according to my Mom) very good. But . .
    my range was good enough for secondary school but soon left me behind at university. Jump to the present.

    My range is excellent but I don't have the control over it that I need - yet; working on that. But the range is there. Now, stepping into mine-field territory - what I'm about to say will likely have detractors. Fine by me, so I'm not suggesting you follow in my steps, but this is what helped ~me~ overcome troubles with range in the past, in spite of university level private tutoring. Two things: ignoring most of the suggestions of my university professors of the past regarding embouchure, and Jeff Smiley's "The Balanced Embouchure".

    IMO one of the failings of many teachers is that they know a ton about what books to work out of, what exercises to play. But what many do not do is to show you how to use your embouchure. The right exercises are not generally helpful if you're using an inefficient embouchure. What is helping me with that (and that has a direct consequence of increased range), are the concepts and exercises from "The Balanced Embouchure". The Balanced Embouchure. Secondarily, the concepts of Vincent Cichowicz. Long Tone Studies (Cichowicz) — Balquhidder Music And, lastly, concepts and exercises by Carmine Caruso (and disciple Laurie Frink). Carmine Caruso Musical Calisthenics for Brass Trumpet Trombone Lessons Book New | eBay

    The structure/concepts in my approach are: high notes are easy. a balanced approach to embouchure works best. the sound rides on the air. and certain muscular exercises.

    It is not my intention to promote any of this over any other schools and concepts. Also, there are players on this forum much better and experienced than I. But from one "elder", come-back player to another, these are what are working for me to overcome range problems of the past.

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